‘Children deserve to be loved’

Grandmother Carolyn Cliffton looks at 3-year-old Ethan Dorland’s adoption paper at the Mesa County Justice Center as his father, Tim Dorland, wearing tie, watches.

Tim and Cathy Dorland thought they were through raising kids. That is, until they met Ethan.

The Dorlands, who have a 21-year-old son named Aaron, adopted their second child, 3-year-old Ethan, Friday morning. Ethan is Cathy’s great-nephew who came to live with the Dorlands more than two years ago after his birth parents were arrested on suspicion of methamphetamine use, she said. The situation was possibly going to be temporary, but “we got attached real quick,” Tim said. After it became clear Ethan’s birth parents weren’t going to be able to care for him, the family decided to pursue adoption.

“Every child deserves to be loved and have a place to grow up to their greatest potential,” Tim Dorland said.

The Dorlands and three other Mesa County couples made their families whole Friday during a local celebration of National Adoption Day, which is celebrated nationwide today. Three to four adoptions on average are finalized each year in Mesa County, according to Mesa County Department of Human Services spokeswoman Angeline Roles, with all or most of those adoptions finalized on National Adoption Day.

About 20 children each year become available for adoption in Mesa County, with many older than age 7 and some with development, medical or other special needs. “It would be great to see 20 adoptions next year,” Roles said.

The adoption process typically lasts one year and involves home visits, interviews, paperwork, and a six-month trial period where kids and families can live together to make sure they’re compatible.

People interested in adoption can contact Dena Neujahr at the Department of Human Services at 248-2818 or visit http://www.humanservices.mesacounty.us. People also can view the profiles of local children at http://www.adoptuskids.org and find information there about who to contact.


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